Songs You May Have Missed #8


The Dukes Of Stratosphear: “Vanishing Girl” (1987)

In 1985 XTC recorded an EP called 25 O’Clock which was an homage to the music of the mid-to-late 60’s, and released it under the pseudonym the Dukes Of Stratosphear. It turned out so well they recorded a full-length follow-up in 1987 called Psonic Psunspot, a full-on psychedelic collage of 60’s tribute with Alice-In-Wonderland-style spoken-word interludes read by the young daughter of the recording studio’s owner (she did her work, according to liner notes, for “a fiver and some sweets”).

From this comes the dead-on 1967 Hollies send-up “Vanishing Girl”. As you can hear, the band weren’t just larking around (note sly XTC in-joke). Proving imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, XTC truly did some of their best work on these well-respected releases.

Here’s a bonus cut: a video of the Dukes’ “You’re A Good Man Albert Brown”, a tip of the hat to the Kinks and a reminder that the Brits are so much better than we are at being silly.

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